Gingerbread calls on Bradford public support to tackle single parent family poverty (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Gingerbread calls on Bradford public support to tackle single parent family poverty
9:00am Tuesday 23rd October 2012 in News
A national charity is calling on residents to back a nationwide campaign to get more single parents into work and their families out of poverty.
Gingerbread, the single parents charity, said that there are 17,000 single parent families in Bradford, many of whom, the charity argues, have been failed by successive government attempts to make work pay and tackle single parent unemployment.
The charity has started a three-year campaign, Make it Work for Single Parents, which calls on the Government to take action to help single parents escape unemployment and working poverty.
It comes weeks after the Telegraph & Argus revealed that loan sharks were targetting mums at school gates to get their cash back.
Gingerbread said that there are 1.16 million children in the UK growing up in single parent families where no-one at home works and, for those who do work, a job is still not a guaranteed route out of financial hardship with more than 300,000 children in working single parent families growing up below the poverty line.
Research published by Gingerbread reveals that single parents with children older than 12 face double the rate of long-term unemployment compared with other groups.
Councillor Ralph Berry, the executive member for children’s services for Bradford Council, said it was a significant issue and a major cause of child poverty. He said: “We shouldn’t be punishing all children for the circumstances of their parents.
“There is nothing better than getting secure work to give people economic independence and raise their self esteem and we need to get Bradford working.
“There are very worrying indicators of the impact Universal Credit [could have] on parents with disabilities who are lone parents and those claiming free school meals. I am getting briefings on that but am very concerned.”
Gingerbread chief executive Fiona Weir said: “Single parents overwhelmingly want to work, but that ambition and drive to be a role model for their children is not being realised because the Government isn’t tackling the real problems of unaffordable, inaccessible childcare, a shortage of flexible jobs and of jobs that make work pay.”
The research revealed the biggest barriers to work for single parents were childcare costs (for 31 per cent of single parents), a shortage of jobs that were flexible (29 per cent) and that paid enough to make work worthwhile (20 per cent).
The charity is calling for the Government and businesses to make work a guaranteed route out of poverty for single parents.